View Full Version : Open Money Manifesto

03-01-08, 09:27 PM
Open Money Manifesto (http://openmoney.org/top/omanifesto.html)

The problems with money stem entirely from how conventional money is normally issued - it is created by central banks in limited supply. There are three things we know about this money. We know what it does - it comes and it goes. We know what it is - it's scarce and hard to get. And we know where it's from - it's from "them", not us.

These three characteristics, common to all national currencies, determine that we constantly have to compete for a share of the limited amount of the "stuff" that makes the world go round. This money can go anywhere, and so it inevitably does, leaving the community deprived of its means of exchange.

It is simply the nature of conventional money that by its coming and going it creates conditions of competition and scarcity, within and between communities.

So we have to scramble for money to survive, we are forced to compete for it, often ruthlessly. Intent on getting the most for the least, we strive for the best bargains, as individuals, businesses, non-profits, governments, and nations.

As a society, as a generation, it seems we are determined to have everything ourselves no matter what consequences our excesses and negligence bring for others, now and in the future.

We rely on this money. It seems there isn't much choice, despite its evident failings. Some people have little or none and cannot do what they need to live in this world - some people have vast amounts of it and yet it seems to do them, and the world, no good.

And what's it all about? A money that is scarce, runs away in all directions, and comes from "them". This money of theirs comes with many problems.

* the problem of supply - how much money in circulation is "right" for the economy? Nobody seems to know how to keep he balance between too much and too little.
* the problem of distribution - where is it? who has it and who hasn't? is it where it's needed? clearly not.
* the problems of cost - costs of creation and security, operations and accounting, the costs of interest, the costs of the courts.

But above all, at a cost beyond counting, our monetarily driven behaviour has utterly disastrous effects on our society and the global environment.
.(contd) (http://openmoney.org/top/omanifesto.html)There is also an educational game (http://openmoney.org/letsplay/index.html) in beta available there -

why play this game?

What's the game?
LETSplay is a process of discovery where players can quickly see the key concepts and understand how they apply in today's economy. It's NOT a game about winning or losing, indeed it's not a competition at all - it's a walk-through the elementary ideas of cc and a rudimentary simulation of one version of an imminent reality
All you do is buy and sell items from a list provided and see what the money does.
As the money comes and goes, the game shows you:
- how conventional and community money are different
- what comes from that difference
- the value of using both forms of money
- how to use community money systems without risk. <hr>
The quick guide -
first, for orientation, print a game chart (http://openmoney.org/downloads/e-letsplay.pdf) and the rules and procedures (http://openmoney.org/downloads/e-rulesandprocs.pdf)
go to http://partysmart.org/cbap to register/login.
the game is anonymous, so choose any simple login id - "jim" for instance
the game won't send you a new password if you forget it, so use something easy to remember
it will add great value to play several accounts - jim, jim1, jim2 etc - they can use the same password.
on their "access" page, accounts jim1, jim2 .... can be set for jim to adminster.
for each account, join a game on the access page - game3 is presently the active game
you'll get $200 fed game money to start
go to the "Show Catalogue / Make a Purchase" page and buy something
see how many $400 level purchases you can make with whatever income you get
you can use the rss feed link to let you know when you've sold something
it generally will pay to wait for income ...... and that's all there is to it. Please note however that the game is in beta testing (http://openmoney.org/letsplay/newgame.html), so interruptions to service may happen. If you find the site unresponsive, please try again in 24 hours.

03-01-08, 11:54 PM
Also, LETSystems (http://www.gmlets.u-net.com/)

From LETSystems - FAQs (http://www.gmlets.u-net.com/faq.html)

What is a LETSystem?

A LETSystem is a trading network supported by its own internal currency. It is self-regulating and allows its users to manage and issue their own 'money supply' within the boundaries of the network.

The key points include:

* co-operation: no-one owns the network.
* self-regulation: the network is controlled by its users.
* empowerment: all network users may 'issue' the 'internal currency'.
* money: money, as a means of exchange, is an integral feature.

LETSystem recording services keep track of transactions and issue statements of LETSystem trading.

Is a LETSystem a type of barter system?

LETSystems use their own type of 'money' - they are money systems.

Barter is a type of exchange where we swap goods and services without using money - I give you a loaf of bread and you give me two cabbages. You fix my car and I'll cook you dinner. But you may not like my cooking.............

Money overcomes the limitations of barter. I give you money for your goods and services and you can spend it elsewhere. In a LETSystem you can use your account to buy what you want from one person and then sell what you can to another.

What does LETS stand for?

The word "LETS" was chosen to highlight an invitation (let's) and a culture of consent. LETS embodies the 'Law of Two Feet' - "If you like it, you walk in. If you don't, then you walk away".

Eric Frank Russell, the story writer, expressed this as "Freedom I will, Freedom I won't" - everybody has choices. (Ref. 1)

LETS supports trading which results in win-win outcomes. This is to be contrasted to the more coercive types of behaviour often seen in communities which are short of money - "I've got the money, so you have to work for me." In LETS, there is never any obligation to trade.

The use of LETS as an acronym was an afterthought. The most common rendering is 'Local Exchange Trading System'. However, we prefer to avoid the use of the word 'local', as it suggests a geographical emphasis, which can be misleading.

What is the basis of LETS?

LETS is based on the value of the individual within the community. This involves both freedoms and responsibilities. We can outline the main criteria:

* consent, nothing happens without it.
* no interest to be charged on account balances.
* common ownership, resulting in cost-of-service provision of support services.
* disclosure of information - to ensure the informed action of users.

How does the LETSystem differ from other types of LETS?

In addition to the four criteria listed above, the LETSystem adds a fifth:

* Trades are valued in units equivalent in measure to the national currency.

This a particular arrangement which makes the system more practical, while keeping to the basic philosophy.

Other forms of LETS may assign other measures to their trading units, such as a standard hour of work. These systems can all be catered for within the standard LETSystem support framework.